20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica itinerary planner

Make it your trip
1
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Parrita
— 1 night
Drive
3
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Drive
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive
7
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
8
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive

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San Jose

— 2 nights
A trip to San Jose, the capital, commercial center, and cultural hub of Costa Rica, gives you a chance to experience the lively atmosphere and rich cultural past of this vibrant country.
Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park) and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca). And it doesn't end there: take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica, examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, explore the galleries of Galeria Namu, and admire the masterpieces at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design.

To see maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our San Jose road trip website.

Use the Route module to see travel options from your home to San Jose. November in San Jose sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can go by car to Parrita.

Things to do in San Jose

Nature · Parks · Museums · Outdoors

Side Trips

Parrita

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 8th (Thu): kick back and relax at Palo Seco Beach and then stroll through Rainmaker Park.

To find ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Parrita trip planner.

You can drive from San Jose to Parrita in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Parrita

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Manuel Antonio

— 3 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Manuel Antonio is known for beaches, adventure, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, trot along with Rancho Tipico Don Juan, look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read Manuel Antonio trip planner.

Getting from Parrita to Manuel Antonio by car takes about an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trip

Monteverde

— 3 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle.

To find other places to visit, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde online itinerary maker.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure

Tamarindo

— 2 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 15th (Thu), enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach and then get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Conchal.

For more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Monteverde to Tamarindo by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Theme Parks

Side Trips

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 5 nights
Set against the backdrop of the imposing Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos offers visitors a chance to explore diverse natural landscapes and sample some delicious local produce.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, trot along with a tour on horseback, take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find more things to do, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos holiday planning site.

Drive from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Tortuguero

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Tortuguero online travel route planner.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In November, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 2 nights

Walaba

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
On the 23rd (Fri), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park and then admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at Playa Puerto Viejo and then take in the exciting artwork at Luluberlu Art Gallery.

To find reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary maker website.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

Side Trip

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.